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wyliepoon
2008-Nov-15, 02:38
While heading south on McCaul Street from Dundas to Queen after my AGO visit, I noticed this Chinatown street sign at Stephanie street...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/3031502094_a103b20dd9_b.jpg

The Chinese font on this sign is definitely different from the one used on the original Chinatown street signs... (and the characters for that font are most likely hand-written)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/3031502166_3ca8329d73_b.jpg

I certainly prefer the old style Chinatown signs, because I grew up seeing those signs. Not only that, the Chinese font on the new sign is the default one used on most computers today, similar to "Times New Roman" in English. I bet the designers of the new sign simply copied the Chinese characters out of Microsoft Word and pasted them onto the sign.

After the battle over the TTC font, perhaps the fight over the Chinatown street signs will be the next battle in Toronto's War of the Fonts.

theowne
2008-Nov-15, 02:47
Has their always been Chinese writing on the street signs?

Just what we need. Another reason not to have to learn english.

wyliepoon
2008-Nov-15, 02:56
Just what we need. Another reason not to have to learn english.

Actually, the signs are a way to teach English. The Chinese on the street signs are not translations, but transliteration of the English street name. Each syllable of the English street name is given a similar-sounding Chinese character to spell out the street name in Chinese.

According to the signs, the Cantonese way of saying "Stephanie Street" is "Si-tai-fun-ley Kai" ("kai" is "street" in Cantonese), while "McCaul Street" is "Muk-goh-lo Kai".

theowne
2008-Nov-15, 03:17
Yeah, I was wondering about that, actually. Since I'm pretty sure Chinese doesn't have a pure syllabic alphabet alternative like Japanese does for spelling foreign words but I guess this is another way of doing that.

Anyways, I don't see how it's a way of teaching English since a person can just rely on reading the Chinese all day, rather than having to pick up English to get around, nor do I think that street signs are the proper place to be teaching immigrants to speak English, but hey, whatever.

Re: Topic. The McCaul sign looks more aesthetically pleasing to me.

junctionist
2008-Nov-15, 03:55
And yet the signs do provide a potential learning experience to newcomers. Besides, Chinese tourists can also benefit from them.

khristopher
2008-Nov-15, 06:10
As much as I like Chinatown, I could care less about the fonts used on the street signs as long as it's readable and visible.

As for the language on the signs, really IMO they should either be English or French.

W. K. Lis
2008-Nov-15, 10:48
The new street name signs will be more like:
http://www.toronto.ca/city-update/archive/cu2007-q1/tn-streetsign.gif (http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/street_name_signs/)
than the cheap ones shown with the bolts and screws showing. Those ones will stay until they get old or damaged.

androiduk
2008-Nov-15, 11:43
Thank God. Those other ones look like they were cut out of cardboard by children. You know what to do folks to speed up the process, if you see one of those ugly street signs, throw something at it.

Transportfan
2008-Nov-15, 12:55
As for the language on the signs, really IMO they should either be English or French.

No, just English. Toronto doesn't need French street signs.

W. K. Lis
2008-Nov-15, 13:30
No, just English. Toronto doesn't need French street signs.

I think all languages should be displayed:

http://www.toronto.ca/diversity/poster_gallery/welcome_large.jpg

Sorry if your language is not in the above list.

theowne
2008-Nov-15, 14:07
Yeah, how come there isn't Farsi on Toronto street signs? It would be such a potential learning experience for newcomers! And how about the Persian tourists!?

And I thought Canada's second language was French....

Now you know why Quebec hates us and will hate us even more if this keeps going on.

Though I feel proud to be able to read four of the languages on the chart posted above *salute*

BobBob
2008-Nov-15, 14:10
^ Your attitudes, avatar and signature seem to hint at some sort of misdirected "patriotism". Try to relax a bit. Welcome. You belong here.

TKTKTK
2008-Nov-15, 14:58
What are you guys talking about with street signs being in French as well as English? Is McCaul Street mystifying for the French in a way that Rue McCaul isn't?



Re: Transliteration. Since the Chinese versions of these street names are slightly different, when locals are referring to the street in common use do they use the English version or the modified Chinese version? Could you see something of a Spadyna/Spadeena boundary split happening eventually (or already?)


Also, I can't stand the new cheapo signs. They look like something Brampton or Mississauga would use. Even the cheaped-out version of the old design beats it.

theowne
2008-Nov-15, 15:18
^ Your attitudes, avatar and signature seem to hint at some sort of misdirected "patriotism". Try to relax a bit. Welcome. You belong here.

What "attitudes" would that be? Is being pro-assimilation/integration a bad thing...? You could say it's overreacting, but as far as I can tell this is just part of a bigger trend....

P.S. Maybe the signature is a bit much, but I didn't know the Canadian flag was so offensive nowadays...:) Is it so bad to like your country?...

ShonTron
2008-Nov-15, 15:28
I'd like the signs in Agincourt to have simplified Chinese transliterations, actually. The signs in Chinatown have been like that since the 1960s I think.

Me thinks theowne would like to see the streetsigns in faux Charlie Chan/Canadian "Chinese food" (http://simplythebest.net/fonts/fonts/chinese_takeaway.html) Chinese script. At least it would keep the tourists happy while ensuring Toronto retains its English heritage.

After all, cities with a sizable French speaking population - Ottawa, Cornwall, Sudbury all have bilingual signs - in Sudbury's case, they don't have the street generics on the local street signs to make them have no specific language. I'd like to see a bit more of this, except ethnic groups do move around. It would be like spotting an English/Yiddish sign on Spadina from the 1930s, which wouldn't make sense anymore.

kennyx
2008-Nov-15, 16:13
Now you know why Quebec hates us and will hate us even more if this keeps going on.


I'd prefer English only, -but if we can have french, than we should also be able to have any language displayed too.

And I couldnt give a crap with how they feel about us. We dont owe them a damn thing.

TrickyRicky
2008-Nov-15, 18:03
How many people passing through the area have no understanding of how to read english? Maybe less than 1 percent? I say they should be exclusively in Chinese. That way us dumbass locals might learn something. Expand your mind.

Prometheus The Supremo
2008-Nov-15, 19:08
How many people passing through the area have no understanding of how to read english? Maybe less than 1 percent? I say they should be exclusively in Chinese. That way us dumbass locals might learn something. Expand your mind.


i don't wanna learn. learnin's heard. i'll get a chinese girlfriend instead. :D

samsonyuen
2008-Nov-15, 22:41
I like the idea of the street signs reflecting the community, like Greek in Greektown street signs, Chinese in Chinatown. What's wrong with that?

AKS
2008-Nov-15, 22:43
I think it's suppose to show the culture of the Area. Like little Italy probably has street signs with Italian/English, Greek area has Greek/English, etc. That way when you walk into an area you know what area that belongs to.

theowne
2008-Nov-19, 03:08
Me thinks theowne would like to see the streetsigns in faux Charlie Chan/Canadian "Chinese food" (http://simplythebest.net/fonts/fonts/chinese_takeaway.html) Chinese script. At least it would keep the tourists happy while ensuring Toronto retains its English heritage.

Kind of a cheap shot. I don't see what's so bad about wanting less fragmentation in society, not more.

lesouris
2008-Nov-19, 07:11
Kind of a cheap shot. I don't see what's so bad about wanting less fragmentation in society, not more.

It's not like taking Chinese off the street signs will force people to learn English. There will always be communities in Canada that prefer their ancesteral language over the official languages. Look at how long Scottish Gaelic was (and still is to a very small degree) spoken out in Cape Breton. And why shouldn't they keep their language? They pay taxes, contribute to the culture of the city, vote, etc. They have their own radio stations, newspapers, television stations, etc. They are integrated into Canadian society. I think it's a bit narrow minded to assume that Canadian society is comprised of English and French speakers on the inside and others on the outside.

The way it works now is for the most part functional. There are many multilingual countries and cities around the world that work just fine.

I guess it all comes down to perspective. I think putting Chinese on the street signs reduces fragmentation. Instead of saying "here we speak English and you are still foreigners" they say "here we can have homes together." Plus it adds character to the neighbourhood. I don't think it would be Chinatown anymore if everyone spoke/all the signs were in English.

ShonTron
2008-Nov-19, 10:58
Sorry if that felt like a cheap shot, theowne, but it's a pretty condensending attitude you have. It reminds me of how another forumer complained about a Chinese name on a Chinese nursing home out in Agincourt, and said that everything should only be in English and French. I am not personally offended, but I think it comes close to the line of being offensive.

Guess what? I was just in China, and saw a lot of English signs (most of which were near correct or actually correct, if not slightly awkward). China has extremely few people who speak English as a first language, but it's on road signs, business signs, public notices in transportation terminals, on TV. It's to help people out who can not comprehend Chinese characters (I only know about 20, but I've used pinyin to learn some phrases). In the US, transport terminals and many public facilities have Spanish, and this only increases in the southwest and in very large cities, even though the US is less known for linguistic and cultural acceptance. Whining about Chinese script in Chinatown seems very ridiculous indeed.

khristopher
2008-Nov-19, 11:03
It is not offensive at all. Canada is English and French. It's our official languages. I'm not sure why anyone would take it personal. Facts are facts.

gabe
2008-Nov-19, 11:17
Quebec signs are in french. Ontario's and the rest of Canada's signs should be kept in english.

TKTKTK
2008-Nov-19, 11:25
It is not offensive at all. Canada is English and French. It's our official languages. I'm not sure why anyone would take it personal. Facts are facts.

Canada is not English and French. We're a nation made up of all manner of different cultures and languages - from Aboriginals to Zimbabweans.

MegaMax
2008-Nov-19, 11:49
It is not offensive at all. Canada is English and French. It's our official languages. I'm not sure why anyone would take it personal. Facts are facts.

Dude, don't you realize you were just mentioned in the post right before yours about Mon Sheong Court (http://www.urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6438)?

AKS
2008-Nov-19, 21:32
If we restrict everything to English and French, you might as well force everyone to speak only English and French. Any other language spoken would be offensive and should be against the law. Then people would leave Canada :P

khristopher
2008-Nov-19, 22:20
Canada is not English and French. We're a nation made up of all manner of different cultures and languages - from Aboriginals to Zimbabweans.
Yes, it is English and French. It's our culture. That's Canada.

Dude, don't you realize you were just mentioned in the post right before yours about Mon Sheong Court (http://www.urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=6438)?
Yes I realize that.

If we restrict everything to English and French, you might as well force everyone to speak only English and French. Any other language spoken would be offensive and should be against the law. Then people would leave Canada :P
Well they didn't have to come here in the first place ;) I certainly wouldn't move to China, if I couldn't speak a Chinese language. I wouldn't go to Russia, unless I could speak Russian. I wouldn't go to Japan, unless I could speak Japanese, etc. etc. etc.
And actually I believe it is the law to provide public services in the official languages of our country.

egotrippin
2008-Nov-20, 02:58
You people are ridiculous. Only the signs in Chinatown have Chinese on them, it's part of the fun. Why don't you all bitch about the Greek writing on signs in Greektown? I can't believe something like this sparked such an ludicrous argument. 'Dem Asian signs is unlearnin' are kids 'n' stuff.

kennyx
2008-Nov-20, 08:59
Yes, it is English and French. It's our culture. That's Canada.



Things change. I'd say we're definately more 'multi'-cultured than just English and French. Hell, -I'd bet there are probably more Chinese in Toronto than French.

If you want keep believing that it's just black and white out there, that's fine... but I think you're a dying breed.

syn
2008-Nov-20, 09:31
Yeah, I was wondering about that, actually. Since I'm pretty sure Chinese doesn't have a pure syllabic alphabet alternative like Japanese does for spelling foreign words but I guess this is another way of doing that.

Anyways, I don't see how it's a way of teaching English since a person can just rely on reading the Chinese all day, rather than having to pick up English to get around, nor do I think that street signs are the proper place to be teaching immigrants to speak English, but hey, whatever.

Re: Topic. The McCaul sign looks more aesthetically pleasing to me.

They're not reading Chinese. It's just helps people learn the English street name, and it's been around for ages. I don't see what the big deal is.

AKS
2008-Nov-20, 11:11
Well, I've lived in Toronto since I was a kid and to give you some brief ideas. I think the street signs are just to show the culture in the area and not actually meant to be useful at all. Those characters written on the sign is in Traditional Chinese. When I was young, it was mostly occupied by Vietnamese Chinese (probably immigrants from vietnam war pre and post), some Cantonese speaker chinese (not sure if they're from HK) and some Vietnamese. Overall most seem to speak Cantonese. But later the occupants seem to be all Vietnamese immigrants who don't read Chinese. All the Chinese moved to Scarborough then spread to Richmond Hill and Markham. China town was occupied by Vietnamese.

In the last few years or more most of the occupants seem to be from mainland China cuz I can't communicate with most of them. They speak Mandarin. Mainland China uses simplified chinese writing. I don't know if they even read the traditional letters on the street signs.

It's called Chinatown because that was the culture that existed/occupied there once and probably preserved in name. Who knows which community would occupy it in the next decade.

As for khristopher racist remark. I don't think you fully comprehend all aspects of why people immigrate. Some may not have had a choice to leave their country. Some people move to in order to survive some may have chosen by choice. My dad thought the same as you did, but he's uneducated (high school drop out) so I don't blame him. But I expected better from educated people.

If your ideal is to have English/French only the population in Ontario would be about half of what it is right now or less. I don't think you would have such a thriving Toronto.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario (2001 census)
Canadian 3,350,275 29.7
English 2,711,485 24
French 1,235,765 10.9

Moreover, if you want to talk about original ownership. I think you should leave the country too. Canada was occupied by native Indians. We should actually be speaking like natives, not English or French.

ShonTron
2008-Nov-20, 11:34
That was well said. The traditional Chinese script in Chinatown makes sense, partly as it was Cantonese-speaking Chinese (from Hong Kong and Guangdong Province) that arrived here first and established the businesses. Then Chinese living in Viet Nam who had to flee. The Mainland Chinese (of whom several families our family are friends with) are the current wave and most commonly settle in northern Scarborough.

Simplified Chinese was introduced about 1950 by the Mao government to help promote literacy, though many characters were untouched, others, the number of strokes were reduced, but can often have the same basic form. However, traditional script is still regularly used in mainland art and for autographs. Many mainland Chinese would be able to read simple signs in traditional script. I believe Singapore also uses the simplied script as well, but Taiwan and the SARs use traditional.

I would suggest that anyone who thinks Canada should only be English or French should go to Timmins, where the franco-ontarien population is quite high, or northern New Brunswick. Lots of English and French speakers, but few others. I would suggest Sudbury (also a relatively bilingual city), except on the Paris Street Bridge they fly the flags of about 100 countries. One might get the feeling that only the flag of Canada should be there.

299 bloor call control.
2008-Nov-20, 11:42
Well they didn't have to come here in the first place ;) I certainly wouldn't move to China, if I couldn't speak a Chinese language. I wouldn't go to Russia, unless I could speak Russian. I wouldn't go to Japan, unless I could speak Japanese, etc. etc. etc.
And actually I believe it is the law to provide public services in the official languages of our country.

That is your prerogative not to move to those other countries. However, if you want your vision of English and French-only Canada, then feel free to lose your job and watch the economy tank. I'm a little offended that you think that adding a ;) at the end of an offensive comment makes it less offensive.

Canada has survived and been so successful since the 1990s because of immigration and the fact that we welcome our immigrants through subtle things like letting them hold onto their culture while providing opportunities to integrate with overall "Canadian" culture. We provide programs like ESL and FSL to help them learn the official languages. This is what Canada is about and it's mighty ethnocentric and borderline racist if you don't want them here.

khristopher
2008-Nov-20, 12:10
Well, I've lived in Toronto since I was a kid and to give you some brief ideas. I think the street signs are just to show the culture in the area and not actually meant to be useful at all. Those characters written on the sign is in Traditional Chinese. When I was young, it was mostly occupied by Vietnamese Chinese (probably immigrants from vietnam war pre and post), some Cantonese speaker chinese (not sure if they're from HK) and some Vietnamese. Overall most seem to speak Cantonese. But later the occupants seem to be all Vietnamese immigrants who don't read Chinese. All the Chinese moved to Scarborough then spread to Richmond Hill and Markham. China town was occupied by Vietnamese.

In the last few years or more most of the occupants seem to be from mainland China cuz I can't communicate with most of them. They speak Mandarin. Mainland China uses simplified chinese writing. I don't know if they even read the traditional letters on the street signs.

It's called Chinatown because that was the culture that existed/occupied there once and probably preserved in name. Who knows which community would occupy it in the next decade.

As for khristopher racist remark. I don't think you fully comprehend all aspects of why people immigrate. Some may not have had a choice to leave their country. Some people move to in order to survive some may have chosen by choice. My dad thought the same as you did, but he's uneducated (high school drop out) so I don't blame him. But I expected better from educated people.

If your ideal is to have English/French only the population in Ontario would be about half of what it is right now or less. I don't think you would have such a thriving Toronto.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario (2001 census)
Canadian 3,350,275 29.7
English 2,711,485 24
French 1,235,765 10.9

Moreover, if you want to talk about original ownership. I think you should leave the country too. Canada was occupied by native Indians. We should actually be speaking like natives, not English or French.

I am not racist, I am Canadian. Canada is a bilingual country. Simple facts, whether you like it or not.
Also I am part native.

Hipster Duck
2008-Nov-20, 15:28
Also I am part native.

So?

TKTKTK
2008-Nov-20, 15:50
So?

So he can entirely ignore natives' contribution to Canada, and Canadian identity. You can do this to black people if you have at least ONE black friend (then you can't be racist!)

cabbagetowner
2008-Nov-20, 17:09
So he can entirely ignore natives' contribution to Canada, and Canadian identity. You can do this to black people if you have at least ONE black friend (then you can't be racist!)

and if you eat chinese food, then you're in the clear.

TKTKTK
2008-Nov-20, 17:37
and if you eat chinese food, then you're in the clear.

True, especially if it's from Ho-lee-chow or the Mandarin.

Tewder
2008-Nov-20, 17:44
The traditional Chinese script in Chinatown makes sense, partly as it was Cantonese-speaking Chinese (from Hong Kong and Guangdong Province) that arrived here first and established the businesses.

Okay, so it's perfectly fine to assert that we should preserve a foreign language on street signs because the Cantonese Chinese were the first Chinese to arrive in the street, but to suggest we should preserve the overall heritage of the nation because the English/French arrived first, lived here for hundreds of years and built the nation is somehow unpalatable to you?


Guess what? I was just in China, and saw a lot of English signs (most of which were near correct or actually correct, if not slightly awkward). China has extremely few people who speak English as a first language, but it's on road signs, business signs, public notices in transportation terminals, on TV.

That is a different phenomenon at play. English is being used as a sort of de facto lingua franca. This is increasingly common in developing nations that have many regional languages, but is indeed also common all around the world. This situation is distinctly different from that of countries that are anglophone to begin with, like Canada (except for Quebec which is a whole other can of worms).

I don't think anybody has an issue with private enterprises that use foreign languages (again, except those pesky Quebecois), vive le free market! What some people may take issue with, and legitimately so, is the tax-funded/government-supported use of them. For me personally it's not a big deal but I can undrestand somebody not agreeing without necessarily jumping to the conclusion that they are racists or nationalistic fascists:rolleyes:


What "attitudes" would that be? Is being pro-assimilation/integration a bad thing...? You could say it's overreacting, but as far as I can tell this is just part of a bigger trend....

P.S. Maybe the signature is a bit much, but I didn't know the Canadian flag was so offensive nowadays... Is it so bad to like your country?...

I'm with theowne here! This nonsense that nobody can assert their Canadian-ness without offending is tiresome, and can we please stop the endless deconstructing of what it is to be Canadian?! Bottom line: Canada is primarily a franco/anglo-heritage nation with a tolerant and diverse multicultural population. There. Inclusive of everyone in the right proportions. Next!


As for khristopher racist remark. I don't think you fully comprehend all aspects of why people immigrate. Some may not have had a choice to leave their country. Some people move to in order to survive some may have chosen by choice. My dad thought the same as you did, but he's uneducated (high school drop out) so I don't blame him. But I expected better from educated people.

May I suggest to moderators that we henceforth automatically ban anybody who gratuitously lobs the term 'racist' around without first submitting a ten page (however many gigabytes is that??) treatise on why they are making the claim?

As for AKS's remarks, big deal!! We all came here at one time or another for one tragic reason or another. Get over it! We evolve into Canada, not the other way around.

TKTKTK
2008-Nov-20, 17:50
Okay, so it's perfectly fine to assert that we should preserve a foreign language on street signs because the Cantonese Chinese were the first Chinese to arrive in the street, but to suggest we should preserve the overall heritage of the nation because the English/French arrived first, lived here for hundreds of years and built the nation is somehow unpalatable to you?

How is removing Chinese writing from street signs in Chinatown tantamount to preserving the overall heritage of English/French?


I'm with theowne here! This nonsense that nobody can assert their Canadian-ness without offending is tiresome, and can we please stop the endless deconstructing of what it is to be Canadian?! Bottom line: Canada is primarily a franco/anglo-heritage nation with a tolerant and diverse multicultural population. There. Inclusive of everyone in the right proportions. Next!

They're not asserting their Canadian-ness per se, they're asserting that some Canadians are more Canadian than others - based on language alone.

adma
2008-Nov-20, 22:36
Moreover, if you want to talk about original ownership. I think you should leave the country too. Canada was occupied by native Indians. We should actually be speaking like natives, not English or French.


You speakum heap good logic

adma
2008-Nov-20, 22:41
And here's proof that being First Nations won't let you off the hook, either (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ahenakew)

ShonTron
2008-Nov-21, 01:52
Okay, so it's perfectly fine to assert that we should preserve a foreign language on street signs because the Cantonese Chinese were the first Chinese to arrive in the street, but to suggest we should preserve the overall heritage of the nation because the English/French arrived first, lived here for hundreds of years and built the nation is somehow unpalatable to you?

If that's how you want to take it, be my guest. I'll go one further and suggest that Fort York be destroyed because it is a relic of English rule. As is St. James Cathedral. I suggest each be replaced by a museum of tolerance.

AKS
2008-Nov-21, 02:16
it's hard to believe comments like "after telling a reporter from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that Jews were a disease and that Hitler was trying to "clean up the world" when he "fried six million of those guys" is not a racist remark. I'm sure he actually meant he loves jews with a passion that he wants them dead.

I'm not quite sure if I understood this correctly. "Bottom line: Canada is primarily a franco/anglo-heritage nation with a tolerant and diverse multicultural population." Do you mean Canada is tolerant of people speaking foreign languages? If so, that sounds condescending.

Anyhow, my bottom line is, Canada embraces multiculturalism that's why many people immigrant here. They want to build a future here. But if it means having to give up their own heritage (only speaking English or French), then I doubt people would want to be here.

CDL.TO
2008-Nov-21, 04:48
http://museum.msu.edu/exhibitions/Virtual/ImmigrationandCaricature/_images_collection/7572-225.jpg

"Look here, you, everybody else is quiet and peaceable, and you're all the time a-kicking up a row!" The editorial that accompanied the cartoon asserted: "the raw Irishman in America is a nuisance, his son a curse. They never assimilate; the second generation simply shows an intensification of all the bad qualities of the first. . . .They are a burden and a misery to this country." From the 1880s.

Clearly, the Irish would NEVER be able to integrate into American society!!!

-------------

I have no idea why people get so worked up about these things. The older immigrants will have trouble integrating and will seek the comfort of their language and culture. The second generation will grow in the new country's culture and fit right in, but still cherish many of their parents' traditions and practices. By the third or fourth generation, no serious ties to the old country remain.

Such is how it is, how it has always been, and how it will always be. Making that first generation welcome and treating them with respect will help ensure a peaceful society for everyone and only help with integration in the long run by discouraging distrust and therefore isolation.

Tewder
2008-Nov-21, 12:24
They're not asserting their Canadian-ness per se, they're asserting that some Canadians are more Canadian than others - based on language alone.

Nonsense! Celebrating a nation's identity, heritage and history is not being exclusionary. All are invited to celebrate, just as all are invited to come and live here.



If that's how you want to take it, be my guest. I'll go one further and suggest that Fort York be destroyed because it is a relic of English rule. As is St. James Cathedral. I suggest each be replaced by a museum of tolerance.

Well fair enough, of course you are free to feel the way you do, but don't imply that people are racist or nationalistic if they don't agree that we should be destroying the history and built form of the nation. Should we be destroying history books and national symbols too? Is Parliament a relic of English rule? Representational government? Are relics of French rule also a no-go?

And why do you feel the need for a museum of tolerance? Canada is a living and thriving place of tolerance, welcoming to all who choose to come here and live by our rules. There are rules, however, and just as Canadians have to be tolerant to each other multiculturalism does not imply that Canadians do not have to be tolerant of the nation's laws, traditions, history, heritage and identity. They do. That said, what a shame it must be to feel so disenfranchised from a nation that is essentially so welcoming and tolerant. What a shame that you would not want to preserve or visit Fort York and choose to view it as a bastion that withstood American manifest destiny and allowed a nation to emerge and evolve into a place with a value system and ethos of tolerance that would provide home to many around the world? It's all how you choose to look at things I suppose...


Anyhow, my bottom line is, Canada embraces multiculturalism that's why many people immigrant here. They want to build a future here. But if it means having to give up their own heritage (only speaking English or French), then I doubt people would want to be here.

What sign you choose to put on your business or what language you choose to speak there is your decision. What you celebrate or how you identify in your own home or in your community is also up to you, and of course we all take pride in our backgrounds and families, and take interest in those of others. No question, and I can't believe that this even has to be spelled out. What I also can't believe is that some here would then believe that those freedoms somehow preclude the existance and legitimacy of a common Canadian identity that we all belong to, that the acknowledgement or celebration of this is somehow intolerant and exlusionary!

TKTKTK
2008-Nov-21, 12:29
Nonsense! Celebrating a nation's identity, heritage and history is not being exclusionary. All are invited to celebrate, just as all are invited to come and live here.


You aren't celebrating a nation's identity, heritage, or history by removing Chinese from street signs in Chinatown. All you're doing is removing Chinese.

Also, I'm pretty sure ShonTron was being sarcastic :P

syn
2008-Nov-21, 12:33
Nonsense! Celebrating a nation's identity, heritage and history is not being exclusionary. All are invited to celebrate, just as all are invited to come and live here.

Theowne wasn't being called out for celebrating the nation's identity, heritage and history. He was being called out for doing the opposite.





Well fair enough, of course you are free to feel the way you do, but don't imply that people are racist or nationalistic if they don't agree that we should be destroying the history and built form of the nation. Should we be destroying history books and national symbols too? Is Parliament a relic of English rule? Representational government? Are relics of French rule also a no-go?




And why do you feel the need for a museum of tolerance? Canada is a living and thriving place of tolerance, welcoming to all who choose to come here and live by our rules. There are rules, however, and just as Canadians have to be tolerant to each other multiculturalism does not imply that Canadians do not have to be tolerant of the nation's laws, traditions, history, heritage and identity. They do. That said, what a shame it must be to feel so disenfranchised from a nation that is essentially so welcoming and tolerant. What a shame that you would not want to preserve or visit Fort York and choose to view it as a bastion that withstood American manifest destiny and allowed a nation to emerge and evolve into a place with a value system and ethos of tolerance that would provide home to many around the world? It's all how you choose to look at things I suppose...

I think he was kidding...




What sign you choose to put on your business or what language you choose to speak there is your decision. What you celebrate or how you identify in your own home or in your community is also up to you, and of course we all take pride in our backgrounds and families, and take interest in those of others. No question, and I can't believe that this even has to be spelled out. What I also can't believe is that some here would then believe that those freedoms somehow preclude the existance and legitimacy of a common Canadian identity that we all belong to, that the acknowledgement or celebration of this is somehow intolerant and exlusionary!

I don't think anyone believes that at all.

Tewder
2008-Nov-23, 12:57
Okay, please pardon my incredulity my humour/sarcasm detector was on the fritz.

lesouris
2008-Nov-24, 01:30
Anyhow, my bottom line is, Canada embraces multiculturalism that's why many people immigrant here. They want to build a future here. But if it means having to give up their own heritage (only speaking English or French), then I doubt people would want to be here.

I agree completely.

However, we have to remember that although multilingualism and immigration are deeply connected, the former is not exclusively due to the latter. There are many Aboriginal communities where neither English or French or spoken. Look at Nunavut where Inuktitut is the most commonly spoken language and is one of the official languages. The Northwest Territories recognizes 11 official languages, 9 of which are Aboriginal. In Ontario, there are many communities where languages like Cree are used everyday yet it has no official status here.

In 1890, Parliament debated whether or not to elevate Gaelic to an official language in addition to English and French. It was the third most spoken language, spoken by many MPs and Senators, and was the mother tongue of a plurality of Fathers of Confederation. Unfortunately the bill was defeated and the language is nearing extinction in Canada.

The point I'm trying to make here is that to see that our country's heritage is exclusively in English and French is misleading. According to the 2006 census, over a quarter of a million people in Ontario had no knowledge of either English or French while 1.8 million used another language at home. To say that these people have no claim to a Canadian identity, or to deny them their place in our country's history, is narrow-minded and elitist.

In many parts of our country, other non-Aboriginal languages were spoken long before either English or French. Whether it's Scottish Gaelic in Cape Breton, Irish in parts of Newfoundland, Ukrainian out West, etc., all have a claim to being Canadian languages. In fact, they were spoken here for so long that distinctly Canadian dialects emerged in all three languages. It is unfortunate that over time these languages (amongst many others) were discouraged and are no longer in widespread use. Language debates in this country have all too often fallen back to English vs. French while equally legitimate language communities have been marginalized. I think Canada could've been a much more interesting place if we recognized our linguistic heritage and encouraged multilingualism outside of just English and French.

I grew up in a generation where a good chunk if not most of my friends where either first or second generation immigrants who could speak two or more languages fluently. I was always a little disappointed that my family never passed down our languages. Some people I know are raising their third or fourth generation Canadian children with a second language, while others plan to. I see this as a good thing that can only enhance our already rich culture, and something that should be reflected in street signs, etc.

We should not equate the official languages of Canada with Canadian languages. The first is a rather limited group of languages used in law, while the latter is a wide range of languages used in everyday life by diverse groups of Canadians. The first is what is officially used by Canadian government, the second is what is used broadly in Canadian society. I don't think we should limit Canadian-ness to the former group as it marginalizes a good chunk of our fellow citizens who equally contribute to our country.

Canada is a multilingual country with a bilingual government, not a bilingual country with some fringe immigrant groups not assimilating properly.

Tewder
2008-Nov-24, 11:42
There are many Aboriginal communities where neither English or French or spoken. Look at Nunavut where Inuktitut is the most commonly spoken language and is one of the official languages. The Northwest Territories recognizes 11 official languages, 9 of which are Aboriginal. In Ontario, there are many communities where languages like Cree are used everyday yet it has no official status here.

I agree with you in that when we talk about 'founding' nations we should be including the aboriginal communities with the French and the English. The issue linguistically, however, is that very few of the aboriginal languages/cultures are written, and that they are so numerous that standardization...therefore effective and efficient communication....becomes problematic. You also have to wonder whether promoting the use of aboriginal languages, officially speaking at least, does more harm to those communities than good. The reality is that they do have to interact with the rest of the nation and the modern world in general. Culturally speaking of course there would be great interest in documenting and preserving a knowledge of those languages.



In 1890, Parliament debated whether or not to elevate Gaelic to an official language in addition to English and French. It was the third most spoken language, spoken by many MPs and Senators, and was the mother tongue of a plurality of Fathers of Confederation. Unfortunately the bill was defeated and the language is nearing extinction in Canada.

Unfortunately or fortunately? The issues surrounding the gaelic language group are in some ways very similar to those surrounding the aboriginal language group. These languages have very little real status because their usage makes very little practical sense even in the UK and Northwest France where they originate culturally.


The point I'm trying to make here is that to see that our country's heritage is exclusively in English and French is misleading. According to the 2006 census, over a quarter of a million people in Ontario had no knowledge of either English or French while 1.8 million used another language at home. To say that these people have no claim to a Canadian identity, or to deny them their place in our country's history, is narrow-minded and elitist.

Nobody's being 'elitist' about these things. Again, you have to make a distinction between what is used officially, the nation's lingua franca and the reality of what is on the ground, so to speak. Most nations/communities function linguistically in this way so as to encourage unity and effective communication (remember the Tower of Babel?) Canada is fairly unique in actually encouraging and promoting two languages, never mind your suggestion we should be encouraging more, and we have to acknowledge that there are substantial divides in national unity that arise from this.



In many parts of our country, other non-Aboriginal languages were spoken long before either English or French. Whether it's Scottish Gaelic in Cape Breton, Irish in parts of Newfoundland, Ukrainian out West, etc., all have a claim to being Canadian languages.

No, in fact they don't. With languages as with cultures etc. it's sort of a bit like 'survival of the fittest', and this is not unique to Canada. In France for example there are many regional languages and cultures (catalan, provencal, breton, occitan to name just a few), but not of them are officially recognized or encouraged by the government. As De Gaulle once remarked it is nigh on impossible to effectively govern a nation that has more than '500' cheeses. Well it is probably even more difficult to do so with many different languages. 'Fench' was the regional language spoken around Paris and the Ile de France which politically over time came to dominate the other regions and become the central language of the entire nation. In Canada the English language would likely have eventually killed off the French tongue if it weren't for the historical reality of the American Revolution that put into place some official protections for French at an early stage before English assimilation could set in. So, all in all, I think it is wrong to bring value judgements of 'elitism' or 'narrow-mindedness' to these things.


I grew up in a generation where a good chunk if not most of my friends where either first or second generation immigrants who could speak two or more languages fluently. I was always a little disappointed that my family never passed down our languages. Some people I know are raising their third or fourth generation Canadian children with a second language, while others plan to. I see this as a good thing that can only enhance our already rich culture, and something that should be reflected in street signs, etc.

Those are very good things indeed and we should always be encouraged to learn different languages and understand different cultures. I disagree with you, however, that all languages are equal and that we should be enshrining linguistic rights for all in our constitution (does anybody practise the 'clicking language' here?). That is not the role of our central federal or provincial governments and I just don't think that it serves anybody if we end up eroding the unity of a central Canadian identity/language base, risking the further balkanization of an already large and unwieldy federal confederation. Again, these are not value judgements. Canada is of course a diverse place, and this diversity is another core piece of our identity but this diversity should be encouraged more locally in our communities and families than at the level of our provincial and federal governments, imo.

prosperegal
2009-Jan-31, 21:26
The language thing is totally class-based and totally a 416 thing. You don't see Chinese street signs in the 905 Chinese communities. Why? Because the 905 communities are mostly middle/upper middle income areas, where people own homes, while this isn't the case in Chinatown. They tried to gentrify Chinatown some 20 years ago when they opened the Mandarin Club (a city/social club which served Chinese food), but then the club moved up to the suburbs (so they could have golf and tennis, to my understanding). I recall going to dinner there and having some homeless guy try to get into the club's elevator. It was nine or ten at the time and was really freaked out.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2009-Feb-01, 17:59
Personally I think the Chinese signs give the area character. Whether we're talking about street signs or the signs on a Royal Bank or a nursing home. I don't see how this is suddenly offensive. A lot of ado about nothing.

shilly
2009-Feb-02, 18:36
I prefer the tried and true way to deal with the signs that aren't in English. Ignoring them. I can read the English, and I don't care about the Chinese characters. If it helps somebody that doesn't speak English then it's great. I just don't think they should rely on them to get around.

Don't new immigrants have to be able to read and write English or French anyways to get into Canada?

299 bloor call control.
2009-Feb-02, 18:45
A basic knowledge of english or french is required, but a fair number require ESL or FSL upgrading when they arrive.

wyliepoon
2009-Feb-02, 21:58
For those who are riled up about Chinese-language signage in Chinatown, go check out the Western Union money transfer ad on the TTC shelter on Dundas just outside Dragon Centre (Spadina and Dundas... the same ad is also displayed on a bus shelter outside Pacific Mall).

The ad is entirely covered in simplified Chinese script and Chinese fireworks. The only English on that ad is a Western Union logo.

bleeepbluuup
2009-Feb-02, 22:34
For those who are riled up about Chinese-language signage in Chinatown, go check out the Western Union money transfer ad on the TTC shelter on Dundas just outside Dragon Centre (Spadina and Dundas... the same ad is also displayed on a bus shelter outside Pacific Mall).

The ad is entirely covered in simplified Chinese script and Chinese fireworks. The only English on that ad is a Western Union logo.

haha... well, nothing wrong with that. You can bet businesses want to communicate with their potential customers as directly as possible. There is money to be made, after all. :)

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-03, 00:17
http://museum.msu.edu/exhibitions/Virtual/ImmigrationandCaricature/_images_collection/7572-225.jpg

"Look here, you, everybody else is quiet and peaceable, and you're all the time a-kicking up a row!" The editorial that accompanied the cartoon asserted: "the raw Irishman in America is a nuisance, his son a curse. They never assimilate; the second generation simply shows an intensification of all the bad qualities of the first. . . .They are a burden and a misery to this country." From the 1880s.

Clearly, the Irish would NEVER be able to integrate into American society!!!

.....



thank goodness for that....

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e4/Georgecarlinmugshot.jpg

ShonTron
2009-Feb-03, 00:28
For those who are riled up about Chinese-language signage in Chinatown, go check out the Western Union money transfer ad on the TTC shelter on Dundas just outside Dragon Centre (Spadina and Dundas... the same ad is also displayed on a bus shelter outside Pacific Mall).

The ad is entirely covered in simplified Chinese script and Chinese fireworks. The only English on that ad is a Western Union logo.

There's a Ford billboard on Hurontario Street between the 401 and Derry (in Mississauga, but near the Brampton border) entirely in Punjabi.

Interesting to see a simplified Chinese ad in Chinatown. I'd expect that more at say Finch and Warden.

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-03, 00:45
i just looked up "chinese alphabet" and found out that instead of an alphabet, it uses characters called logograms to represent things. there's thousands of them!

how the heck do you remember all of that? that's gotta be good for the brain. i wonder if china and similar countries that use logograms have lower rates of dementia because of this?

Tewder
2009-Feb-03, 10:31
Wylie, I don't think the issue is with private signage. This isn't Quebec after all. The issue is with city signage. Personally I think signs should be in English but would also argue that there is a heritage argument for the Chinese signage in the downtown neighbourhood. Wasn't there a city initiative to customize street signs somewhat per neighbourhood (a rainbow flag in the Church Wellesley neighbourhood for example)? This to me seems to be the better and more consistent approach.

ShonTron
2009-Feb-03, 14:19
English/Chinese signs just happen to be the way the local street signs are customized in Chinatown, as English/Greek signs are used in Greektown, and "Corso Italia" and "Rua Acores" signs are used in the west end. Other BIAs have symbols (ie the Rainbow flag) or logos (ie Bloor-Yorkville).

Why you still have such a problem with Chinese script on streetsigns is beyond me when it's just in Chinatown, and no other wayfinding or street signs are in Chinese (ie "No standing"). May I re-suggest using faux-Chinese lettering instead?

ian
2009-Feb-03, 15:41
i just looked up "chinese alphabet" and found out that instead of an alphabet, it uses characters called logograms to represent things. there's thousands of them!


While there are characters for common words, sometimes characters are chained together and used for phonetic purposes, especially when coming up with ways for writing non-Chinese words (like the street names in Chinatown). What can be confusing is that different dialects will pronounce characters differently, so someone from Hong Kong might come up with different Chinese characters for "Spadina" than someone from Shanghai.


how the heck do you remember all of that?

Most training involves starting with the common characters (man, woman, dog, food, etc) and building out from that as necessary. There are common standards for the number of characters a typical high-schooler knows vs. someone a typical University student.


that's gotta be good for the brain.

Let me tell you, you go through a lot of flashcards. :)

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-03, 19:00
人,婦女,狗,食物

man: 人

woman: 婦女

dog: 狗

food: 食物


i thought woman would have been: 婦人?

same for dog food: 狗食 why are there only 2 logograms? shouldn't there be 3?


p.s, i wanna check if the online translators translate correctly. what am i saying here?

有大乳房的婦女有一頭非常美麗的驢子。

AKS
2009-Feb-03, 19:21
人,婦女,狗,食物

man: 人

woman: 婦女

dog: 狗

food: 食物

i thought woman would have been: 婦人?

same for dog food: 狗食 why are there only 2 logograms? shouldn't there be 3?


p.s, i wanna check if the online translators translate correctly. what am i saying here?

有大乳房的婦女有一頭非常美麗的驢子。

girl person (girl) = 女人 .
wife = 婦人
food/eat, type/things = 食物

The translation for dog food doesn't seem right I think? I think it's "gao leung" I can't remember the chinese character.

As for the last sentence, it doesn't make sense i think?
Are you trying to say there's a big bust woman with a very beautiful ass?
Structure is awkward and I haven't even studied proper structure to notice that. Somehow ass got translated to donkey LOL

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-03, 19:28
LOL!


what i wanted:

the woman with the big breasts had a very beautiful ass as well.

what i got:

Has the big breast's woman to have a very beautiful donkey.


can't wait for a computer to pass the turing test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test).



see what happens when we use euphemisms to hide bad words. the computer translating programs get all retarded. :D

AKS
2009-Feb-03, 19:35
Well, you have to take into account that online translators translates text directly so you have to use a bit of guessing to get the gist of it. I don't think there's any computers out there that can translate properly. Only humans can translate and even that requires deep enough knowledge to spell and use grammar properly. I've seen some really bad subs around.

As for the flash card business. I suppose they're helpful. But the best way is just to read more. If you try to memorize, you'll forget. But if you keep seeing the word appear in a sentence often, you'll remember it and understand the meaning better. I never had much of a chinese education growing up in Toronto, but I learned reading through magazines, tvb subs in dramas and following lyrics from songs. However that only helps with memorization. Without formal education, it's impossible to form proper sentences. Even some kids in HK can't write properly structured sentence in their creative writing class. They tend to use slang.

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-03, 20:13
if you kinda think about it, maybe english words are similar to chinese logograms since when we read english words, we don't really read one letter at a time but instead we recognize the word. i think the biggest difference would be in the way to learn words.

i don't know how well i'd learn by picking up a chinese newspaper. it's all chinese to me, literally! ;)

AKS
2009-Feb-03, 20:33
It's pretty painful. But it wasn't like learning English was easy either. In school the teachers kept making us read. If we came across a word we don't understand, we look it up in the dictionary or ask the teacher. Well, with chinese it's the same. Since I have no teacher and I speak the language, it's either look it up in the dictionary or do some guess work (fill in the blank that makes sense). Similar to English that some characters that go together make a certain sound, chinese characters that go together make a certain sound. So you try and sound it out. Try and guess the tone until you get a coherent one that make sense. The only difference between Chinese and English is Chinese is harder to write cuz some characters have a lot of strokes and you have to remember all the strokes and if there's many, it has to fit in a tiny box shape. Otherwise you get big and small words O_o

golodhendil
2009-Feb-03, 23:27
人,婦女,狗,食物

man: 人

woman: 婦女

dog: 狗

food: 食物


i thought woman would have been: 婦人?

same for dog food: 狗食 why are there only 2 logograms? shouldn't there be 3?


p.s, i wanna check if the online translators translate correctly. what am i saying here?

有大乳房的婦女有一頭非常美麗的驢子。


girl person (girl) = 女人 .
wife = 婦人
food/eat, type/things = 食物

The translation for dog food doesn't seem right I think? I think it's "gao leung" I can't remember the chinese character.

As for the last sentence, it doesn't make sense i think?
Are you trying to say there's a big bust woman with a very beautiful ass?
Structure is awkward and I haven't even studied proper structure to notice that. Somehow ass got translated to donkey LOL

woman / female could be translated as either 婦女 (more polite) or 女人 (more general).. 婦人 is kind of the "singular" form of 婦女 when used to refer to a single female person
wife should be 妻/妻子 (more formal) or 老婆 (more colloquial, literally old + old woman)
dog food would normally be called 狗糧, literally dog + food, because 糧 is a more classical/formal word originally meaning grains/taxes and generalized to mean food

classical chinese and the southern chinese languages (cantonese, fujianese, shanghainese etc, which preserved more features of ancient chinese than mandarin) tend more often to use single characters as words, so one character = one word.. but later chinese tended to add redundant characters to lengthen the word, probably to make it easier for speaking, so that nowadays it's more common for two characters = one word.. eg nowadays, esp in mandarin and written chinese (which is based on mandarin), 糧 is usually used as 糧食 (food + food or grain + food)

as for your sentence, it makes sense, but not the meaning that you wanted..

有大乳房的婦女有一頭非常美麗的驢子。

character-for-character is:
have-big-milk-room-'s-woman-woman-have-one-head-not-usual-pretty-pretty-'s-donkey-little

collapsed into words:
have-big-breast-'s-woman-have-a-unusual/very-pretty-'s-donkey
(chinese has a class of "quantifiers" that are usually used in front of nouns, so that 頭 or "head" in this case is the quantifier for large animals)
(the 子 in 驢子 is another common feature in mandarin / modern chinese to lengthen words to two characters, in this case adding a "diminutive" or "intimate" sense.. ancient/southern chinese usually don't do that)

and when you correct for the differences in syntax and the lack of conjugation in chinese, you will get:
(the) woman with big breasts has a very pretty donkey

the only problem being, "ass" has two definitions (buttocks and donkey, which was the original meaning), so the translator took the more formal / original meaning and translated it as "donkey"

--
PS. a grammatically slightly more correct way to say that sentence in mandarin/written chinese would be
那個大乳房的婦女有一頭非常美麗的驢子。
literally:
that-(quantifier)-big(etc same as above)
in this case the first quantifier is for the woman, not for the breasts

in case you're interested, in cantonese the sentence would be:
個大胸女人有隻好靚嘅驢。
literally:
(quantifier)-big-breast-female-person-has-(quantifier)-good-pretty-'s-donkey
see how much shorter the cantonese sentence is

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-03, 23:44
thanks golodhendil for making such effort to explain all that to me.

i think that i can say that at least i've learned how to write the word "man": 人

i am a 人. it's easy to remember because it looks like a wishbone.


how is it pronounced?




p.s, 婦女 "woman", looks really complicated.

AKS
2009-Feb-04, 00:40
人 = person (cantonese: yan, mandarin: ren")
男人 = male (cantonese: lam yan, mandarin "nan ren")
女人 = female (cantonese: lui yan, mandarin "nu ren")

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-04, 01:05
人 = person (cantonese: yan, mandarin: ren")
男人 = male (cantonese: lam yan, mandarin "nan ren")
女人 = female (cantonese: lui yan, mandarin "nu ren")


oh, 人 is man, not literally as a sex but as person. just like how in english, man can mean more than just male.

the logograms for female look easier to remember since the first part looks like two X's on top of each other, kinda like XX chromosomes.

golodhendil
2009-Feb-04, 01:18
haha you're welcome.. must be "teacher's blood" in me, always love to go into long-winded explanations of things given the slightest provocation

人 is one of the most ancient characters, of the "pictogram" class of characters and supposed to diagrammatically represent a human as seen from the side (in earlier forms the left stroke is shorter, supposed to represent the arms, and the right stroke is longer and represents the legs)
(here you go: http://www.chineseetymology.org/CharacterImages/Oracle/J10000/j18700/j18710.gif)
in mandarin it would be "ren" (to be perfectly accurate, "r" is pronounced like the "s" in "measure" but with a more rolled tongue; "e" is a short schwa.. but it sounds approximately like "run")
in cantonese it would be "jan" (with the "j" actually being a "y" sound, and the "a" again more like the "u" in run)
i'm not going to go into the tones because that adds a whole another level of complexity

the most original character for woman is 女 (n in mando, nuy in canto), the pictogram for a woman with breasts http://www.chineseetymology.org/CharacterImages/Bronze/B10000/b16500/b16562.gif.. the character for "man" (as in male) is actually 男 (nan in mando, naam in canto), which is of the class of "joined meaning" characters, combining two original pictograms in order to "join" their meanings, in this case combining 田 (field) with 力 (strength) to make 男, the gender with the strength to work the fields

the other two major classes of characters are "abstract meaning" (such as 一二三 for one two three, with their corresponding number of bars; or 上下 for up/above and down/below, indicated by the position of the dot relative to the bar)... and by far the most common, phonetic+meaning, which combines a "radical" indicating the general semantic category and a phonetic component roughly indicating the sound.. eg, 狗 combines the modified form of 犬 (the original character for dog) as the radical on the left, and 句 for the sound on the right.. but after 3000 years, the phonetic component usually isn't that good an approximation, eg now 句 is pronounced j in mandarin / geuy in cantonese, while 狗 is gou in mandarin / gau in cantonese (notice how it sounds closer in cantonese)

if this is deemed to be too OT, we can start another thread or talk by PM or something

Prometheus The Supremo
2009-Feb-04, 02:48
thanks for the lesson! :)

wyliepoon
2011-Feb-19, 01:23
Dug up this old thread to post photos of the many new street signs that have gone up in recent weeks in Chinatown. Most of the old "acorns" on Dundas and Spadina have gone down, replaced by the new street signs.

Fortunately, the new signs retain the same Chinese transliteration of the English street names (and not simply the name "Chinatown" printed across the top of the sign as proposed earlier). However, if I was as picky about Chinatown street signs as Joe Clark (http://joeclark.org/) is about TTC signage, then I would say I was somewhat disappointed with the Chinese script on the signs. I'd guess that the signs were designed with Photoshop. Some of the Chinese characters appear to be copied and pasted from the old acorn signs, while other characters (probably ones that didn't show up on the acorns) were printed in what is probably the Chinese version of Times New Roman. The worst signs are those where you have a mix of the Times New Roman characters and the acorn characters appearing on the same sign.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5259/5454826761_0b7477f2e2_z.jpg
Dundas Street West - Chinese characters copied from the old acorn signs

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5298/5454818709_d75b932756_z.jpg
Spadina Avenue - Chinese style "Times New Roman"

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5134/5455435456_736aa9cbff_z.jpg
Baldwin Street - "Baldwin" is transliterated in the "Times New Roman", and the character for "street" is from the acorn.

Surviving Chinatown "acorns" as of February 18...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5295/5455428740_14ccf18080_z.jpg
Dundas Street West, next to the underground parking entrance east of Spadina

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5211/5455449116_b72deca8cd_z.jpg
Spadina and Phoebe

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5135/5454840043_c48e764fc8_z.jpg
Spadina and Bulwer, just north of Queen

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3563/3596387813_3dd69286e5_z.jpg
Queen and Soho (file photo)

ganjavih
2011-Feb-19, 18:11
Man, those old signs are so much more aesthetically pleasing. Those new signs look as cheap and flimsy as Toronto's new street furniture... at least they match.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2011-Feb-19, 19:17
It's too bad they couldn't come up with a consistent Chinese font. I like the signs with the Chinese names on them. They should make them look as good as possible.

W. K. Lis
2011-Feb-20, 11:05
Why don't they put the French equivalent as well? While AVENUE is the same in French and English, STREET is RUE in French. Just being picky.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2011-Feb-20, 16:59
Why don't they put the French equivalent as well? While AVENUE is the same in French and English, STREET is RUE in French. Just being picky.

I'm sorry I didn't realize Toronto had a French Quarter.

W. K. Lis
2011-Feb-20, 17:53
I'm sorry I didn't realize Toronto had a French Quarter.

When did Chinese become an official language of Canada over French?

Eug
2011-Feb-20, 18:30
When did Chinese become an official language of Canada over French?
Who cares? Chinatown is chinatown. At best you could argue that there is a heavy vietnamese population there. Oh wait... You may be on to something after all, cuz at least the well-educated vietnamese speak French. :)

Jonny5
2011-Feb-20, 19:14
I'm sorry I didn't realize Toronto had a French Quarter.

Actually, I have heard Bayview Ave., south of Eglinton described that way before. I'm not sure why. Maybe the French immigrant owned bakeries?

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2011-Feb-21, 00:40
When did Chinese become an official language of Canada over French?

Since when did street signs have to have two official languages on them?

Are you going to raise a fuss about the Greek street signs in Greektown too?

adma
2011-Feb-21, 01:24
Come to think of it, are there English/Hebrew street signs up north on Bathurst?

barrytron3030
2011-Feb-21, 13:56
Come to think of it, are there English/Hebrew street signs up north on Bathurst?

Or Scar-Bro/English signs on Kingston Rd?

js97
2011-Feb-22, 12:58
6 pages is pretty rediculous?!

Anyone have a history of this?

I'm gonna guess that it might have had something to do with making Toronto a more tourist friendly destination?

I would think back in the 80's Chinatown would have been the closest anyone in Ontario would have come to experience 'chinese culture'? (China being a closed communist country and all'
I think it gives it character to the area, if anything, it's a bit of a tourist trap gimick.

'Oh, let's go to Toronto's chinato to experience a bit of foreign culture'.

That being said, I think the world is open enough now that we don't need multi-language anymore.

Interesting the NDP-esque posters would be all over this?! What happend to millers 'inclusive' is our motte etc?

bah! lol

AlvinofDiaspar
2011-Feb-22, 16:18
We don't need "multi-language" (whatever THAT is), but we clearly do need someone with better a command of the English language on the forum. Your post is borderline unreadable - and ranting about the NDP on here won't help you an iota on that front.

As to the Chinese font used - a bigger issue might be that the dominant population in Chinatown from mainland China uses simplified Chinese.

AoD

EnviroTO
2011-Feb-22, 21:33
When did Chinese become an official language of Canada over French?

I wasn't sure it was required but here you go:
- DUNDAS ST = Rue Fait L'ne
- SPADINA AVE = Av Gutre Dinent

js97
2011-Feb-23, 10:25
We don't need "multi-language" (whatever THAT is), but we clearly do need someone with better a command of the English language on the forum. Your post is borderline unreadable - and ranting about the NDP on here won't help you an iota on that front.

As to the Chinese font used - a bigger issue might be that the dominant population in Chinatown from mainland China uses simplified Chinese.

AoD

Bah! lol. So does e-bashing my post make you feel better about yourself, or that 'moderator' title under your name?

Exciting times you are in ;)

AlvinofDiaspar
2011-Feb-23, 10:32
For your record, here are the rules (http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?7113-Urban-Toronto-Rules-Of-Conduct):


- Use the English language. If we can’t understand it we will delete it. And use proper grammar. Again if we can’t understand it we will delete it.

Quite frankly, if I am really ruthless with it, half of your postings on here would have been consigned to the trashbin on that reason alone. Calling other members who stayed on topic as "NDP-esque posters" might be cute the first time - but seeing it in every other post of yours is just getting tired. Consider yourself on notice.

AoD